Sunday, February 01, 2009

Hospitalized patients need to know: Who’s on first?

Patients on an inpatient service were asked to name the doctors on their care team. Here are the study results:

Of 2807 patients, 2110 (75%) were not able to name anyone when asked to identify an inpatient physician in charge of their care. For the 697 patients who responded with at least 1 name, only 281 (40%) were able to correctly identify 1 inpatient physician on their team.

This was a busy medicine teaching service with a lot of hand offs staffed by academic attendings, house staff, students and night float personnel. It was not the typical hospitalist model of care. However, there were some non-teaching hospitalists in the mix to accommodate resident work hours, and the lessons learned here apply to many hospitalist programs where shift based work routines result in numerous hand offs.

More from Wachter's World.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

About 15 years ago now I had a detached retina. After several rounds of referrals, I got to a retina surgeon, who I saw, and whose name I got. Then, to prevent further injury, I had both eyes covered while I waited about four hours to get all cleared and what not for surgery. In that time, I was "seen," poked, and prodded by about five people, not a single one of whom introduced himself (all were male). It sucked.

But I'm sure every single one would insist that he always introduces himself to every patient and besides, his name tag is easy to read!

(But yay, I can see, so that's good.)